The Changing Landscape of Local and Community Development in Ireland: Policy and Practice

This is the report of a conference held in University College Cork, Ireland, in October 2015 to discuss research carried out by UCC researchers and hear the views of representatives from the wider voluntary and community sector on the impact of both austerity cuts and changes to central and local government funding on the sector.

With the onset of the economic crisis in 2008, a range of austerity measures introduced by the Irish Government led to severe cuts in funding to the voluntary and community sector in Ireland. Accompanying this was an on-going process of policy change since the late 1990s, linked to Government attempts to align the sector with central and local government priorities and agenda. The latter culminated in the passing of the Local Government Reform Act 2014, which attempted to bring the community and voluntary sector under greater local and central government control, and included the introduction of competitive tendering for service contracts established by the State, in place of grants for community sector organisations.

Issues raised by the research and discussed at the conference included the implications of such changes for collaboration and co-operation in the sector in an atmosphere of increased competition for resources, community development as a method of work, the independence of the sector, and notions of participative democracy and grassroots engagement.

A copy of the Conference Report, The Changing Landscape of Local and Community Development in Ireland: Policy and Practice, is available here.
https://www.researchgate.net/project/The-Changing-Landscape-of-Local-and-Community-Development-in-Ireland-Policy-and-Practice_5749b9c04048547bbd42db62

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About Féilim Ó hAdhmaill

Dr. Féilim Ó hAdhmaill is a Lecturer in Social Policy in the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Ireland. His subject areas are Comparative Social Policy; Conflict Transformation and Peace Building; Community Development and he is Programme Director for the Masters in Voluntary and Community Sector Management. University profile http://research.ucc.ie/profiles/A012/fohadhmaill For information on the Masters in Voluntary and Community Sector Management http://www.ucc.ie/en/cke75/ He has a long background working in community and voluntary sector and as a political activist in the North of Ireland. He is a former republican prisoner who spent seven and a half years in prison. He was released from jail in August 2000 under the Good Friday Agreement. He has lectured in social policy at Queens University Belfast and Ulster University and have been a lecturer in University College Cork since 2006.
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